DT Daily: Windows 10 highlights, trees generate power, HoloLens project

Today on DT Daily: a quick review of the Windows 10 event, a tree that puts out power, and Microsoft takes a closer look at holograms. 

It was a big day in Redmond Wednesday as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadala and his team presented a preview of Windows 10, the company’s upcoming operating system.

Microsoft is working to make Windows 10 the first platform agnostic operating system, giving users essentially the same experience whether they’re using a desktop PC, laptop, tablet or a phone – or a giant touchscreen at the office. Another aspect is the integration of the Cortana virtual assistant in many of the OS’s functions, which hopefully means less clicking, searching, poking and typing while using a computer or mobile device.

But as DT computer editor Matt Smith observes, it’s not all clear skies and sunshine for Microsoft, which has had a tough time keeping up with Apple and Google in the mobile marketplace. Will Win10 be the boost they need to catch up? We’ll find out when the system rolls out this fall.

We’re all familiar with the giant turbines used to generate power from wind, but putting a 400-foot tall windmill in a city? Not gonna happen.

So some folks in France have come up with the Arbre a vents, or “wind tree,” a more naturalistic approach to wind power that can be used in cities. Each wind tree is filled with small “aero leaves” that are actually small wind turbines. Since urban winds tend to be turbulent instead of steady, the aero leaves require much less wind power to turn than a big turbine. They are also pretty much silent as they spin around.

But when the output of all the aeroleaves is combined, the wind trees actually put out a fair amount of juice. Plus, they look more like trees. Wind tree production is set to begin in March.

While Microsoft was showing off the upcoming Windows 10 OS yesterday, one item that really caught our attention was Project HoloLens.

Basically a holographic computing interface that lets users create and see holograms, the system would allow mid-air computer operation, amazing gaming, and could even create a virtual reality overlay of your regular, non-holographic life. It requires the use of a headset and works with voice and gesture controls – a mouse or keyboard are not needed. Things you design using the HoloLens could also be sent to a 3D printer to bring them into reality.

We have to admit, Microsoft makes HoloLens look like a lot more fun than pointing and clicking. The HoloLens system is still in development, but this is one Microsoft program we really hope sees the light of day – and soon.

Your host today is Holly Resnick. Miss a day? Watch all the episodes of DT Daily right here. And be sure to catch our latest podcast.

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